Culms to about 2 cm wide, forming clumps mostly 2-6 m tall from knotty creeping rhizomes. Leaves 2-ranked, to about 6 cm wide, margins rough. Inflorescences silky plumes, to about 50 cm long, cream to purplish; spring to summer. Palea 2-nerved.
var. versicolor (Mill.) Stokes. Leaf blades with white stripes. ['Variegata'] Plants form colonies, often starting as variegated plants but reverting to green foliage. Occasionally naturalising around old garden sites and where garden waste has been dumped. In warmer areas such as Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland sometimes spread along riverbanks. A few populations are naturalised in Victoria. In North America it has been reported as spread by seed.
Source: (2005). Poaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.